July 26, 2016 – The latest addition to Santa Cruz’ healthy food scene, earthbelly opened its doors to the public yesterday in the space formerly occupied by Caffe Lucio on the corner of Ocean St and Soquel Ave.
Chef-owner Chad Greer says the casual, non-GMO, organic food stop and meeting place is a concept he’s been planning for at least ten years. “Our food supply is being contaminated by big corporations that don’t care about anything but profit,” he says. “I feel people should have a choice and a reasonable organic option.”
The new counter-service restaurant—which he owns with his wife, pastry chef Tammy Ogletree—serves up a wide variety of beautifully prepared salads, soups, flat bread pizzas, pastas and sandwiches—all at reasonable prices. View full menu here…
Also available are items like lentil hummus with chili oil and pita chips, chicken under a brick, homemade cookies and brownies, and Mission Hill organic ice cream.
Greer admits it’s tough to balance the cost of high quality ingredients and reasonable prices: “That’s why we decided to go with the counter style, to save on labor and be able to spend extra on food,” he explains. Menu items are also available for take-out or delivery.
The passionate chefs consider opening the restaurant something of a political act. “There are a million things we should stand up and fight for in this world,” says Greer, “but this is an arena I know about and can do something about.”
Greer and Ogletree previously owned Beso restaurant in New York’s Hudson Valley, a hotbed of organic agriculture.
The couple met in the kitchen of a San Francisco restaurant in 1988, where she was the pastry chef and Greer worked the stoves. After 15 years on the East Coast, they moved to Santa Cruz when their daughter was born three years ago and began looking for the right spot to open their own restaurant.
Earthbelly is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 11am -9pm; Friday – Sunday 11am -10pm; and closed Tuesdays.